It’s that time again when we remind you that while we’re on the verge of an exciting holiday season, we’re also more likely to have a bon fire, light candles, and have kindling materials on hand and near flames. If you are the kind of family that likes to have friends over and enjoy a few drinks while giving out candy (which is fine), the chances of forgetting to water down burning embers or leaving a candle lit too long increase, which is not the safest approach. So here are the Duckstein Restoration tips for a safe and wonderful Halloween:
- Look for flame-resistant costumes and ones that don’t have long, flowing fabric behind them (kids may walk past someone else’s path of lit candles). If you make your own, choose materials that aren’t likely to ignite if they come into contact with flame (i.e., be careful with cardboard box costumes).
- Give kids glow sticks, glowing magic wands, and/or flashlights to go with their costumes. You want to make sure they are visible to any nearby traffic.
- Flowers, cornstalks, and crepe paper all burn very easily. Be careful how close you place your candles to these items.
- If you have a bon fire, make sure to dowse the fire with water before heading in for the night. Many times, someone will think the fire is out and even throw corn stocks and decorations into the fire pit—only to realize later that the embers reignited the fire and it has worked its way to the nearby pile of leaves that were next to the wooden shed, and so on . . .
- Use battery-powered candles inside Jack-o-lanterns or glow sticks. Open flames lead to the possibilities someone will get hurt. These are inexpensive and easy to find at dollar stores, drugstores, etc.
Stay vigilant. With Devil’s Night, you want to keep an eye out for anyone who looks suspicious (downtown Detroit had 800+ fires set on Devil’s Night in 1984 and over 300 in 1994, one of which likely resulted in the death of an infant). With kids involved, you want to keep an eye out for other hazards, too (such as a driving while texting instead of watching the road filled with trick or treaters). It’s not hard to stay safe during the holidays, but every year there are accidents, fires, and injuries due to the holiday. Be smart out there, and have a wonderful time.
Henry Duckstein Jr.